I got caught up in the times back in the 60’s and the 70’s, not that it’s any excuse for what I did to myself. I ended up setting myself up for failure, when I was supposed to be studying for a music education degree, preparing myself for a bright future as a teacher, preparing myself for a marriage with that wonderful girl I’m still in love with.
I haven’t seen her in forty years, and it’s driving me nuts.
I had all that set up for myself back then, and threw it all away for a drink and a drug when I was a young man at the university. You might just as well have done the same thing, and found yourself sick for a lifetime, like I did. Maybe you did, which might be why you’re still reading this. Maybe not; maybe you were luckier than I was and ended up with someone. I don’t know, but I do know that I’m not alone, even though, in many ways, I’m very seriously alone.
There were all those kids at the university who were more involved in getting stoned than they were in studying. I was one of the crowd, one of the worst of the crowd. I was a die hard party animal. It’s gotten to the point by now where I’m more or less accustomed to being alone. I especially revolt against anyone touching my face now.
I used to enjoy having a girl touch my face.
I get down on myself sometimes at holidays, whenever anyone else has their families coming around to see them, and I know that I don’t have any family coming around to see me, except for my one brother, and it’s my own fault, too. I made myself sick when I was young, and couldn’t help it as soon as I cast caution to the wind for the first time.
Yeah, but when was that?
It wasn’t the early 70’s, I know that. By that time, I was in a full fledged self-destruct mode.
It was in the 50’s when I cast caution to the wind, when I was so certain that my father was a murderer and I became a chronic runaway, at the age of five. I never allowed myself to be parented, and never trusted anyone, from the time I was very small. By the time I went away to university as a young man in the early 70’s I’d already fully established all my bad habits.
I guess you could say I developed a “kick me” attitude after I went away to college. I was six foot tall and bullet proof, and nothing and no one could ever defeat me. That’s youth for you. I got to the point where I was cooperating with the dope man, and took some drugs that were too strong for me. The future was mine to write, and I wrote myself a ticket for an impromptu education.
My poor mother always thought she wasted the tuition money to send me to that university, but I tried to tell her it wasn’t so. I learned to begin to question my behavior, and my beliefs. She may not be all that happy about the idea that Jesus is not my God, but that’s just a little quirk of mine I’m working on.
My Higher Power could stand to show me something more about Jesus, if He really wants me to believe in the guy on an ongoing basis. There are so many people freaked out about Jesus these days, and I’d rather focus on the Father than the Son in my meditations. I think it’s important to honor the one true God in my honoring of a spiritual entity.
By the time I gave into an unhealthy lifestyle, I succeeded in making myself sick for a lifetime. I had no clue what constituted healthy living, and wasn’t even certain I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle at that point. I was busy trying to live a wild lifestyle, and became a die hard party animal. It was that attitude that ended up getting me into a lot of trouble, health-wise, for a lot of years.
Now, I’m getting to be a little bit of a geezer, and I’m finally learning some things about how to keep myself healthy. One of the things is that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, or take mind altering chemicals. That became a no brain-er, pretty quick. Another thing is that I don’t smoke anything anymore. I make do without caffeine or nicotine in my life now, and sodas are a thing of the past.
If I indulge in a soda, it must be something without caffeine. Avoiding chocolate is a step to far. I treat myself to some chocolate every now and then, whether I need it or not. I think everyone should have a little chocolate in their life. Maybe I’ll have caffeinated coffee now and then, but I make an effort to avoid it regularly.
It’s alright. I don’t really miss any of those substances at all. I find that I get along very well to be living a basically healthy lifestyle, with all my basic abstinence lined up. As it turns out, it was all the intoxication that was keeping all the trouble brewing anyway. Oh yes. Caffeine and nicotine turned out to be intoxication for me, and therefore I have to avoid it.
I got an education from the University of Hard Knocks about all those things I insisted upon doing, which got me into trouble with my own body and my own mind. I had a thing or two to learn about what makes me sick, not to mention unhealthy. I’ve found that my body cannot tolerate any kind of mind altering substance, so I no longer give them to myself.
I was the one who had to stop doing those things, but my Higher Power helped me understand, as well as helping me give all that garbage up. There were many things I would rather have continued substances, like a lot of caffeine, for instance. It’s contained in a lot of popular beverages, and is really quite pleasant to help me get wired enough that I happen to wake up wider awake when I want to.
But caffeine contributes to the dysfunction of my liver, and also makes a major contribution to my chronic insomnia. Golly, I found that out the hard way. My body was rebelling so much against caffeine I ended up overdosing on my psych meds, and passing out on the floor every night, on a regular basis. I think the experience of learning that lesson almost cost me my life.
It wouldn’t surprise me.
There has never been a better time of life for me than 2011 and 2012. I’m finally at the stage in life where I can sleep a regular night’s sleep, and function normally throughout my day. I’m finally free of insomnia and fainting spells. What makes the difference? I avoid taking all mind altering substances, including not only the heavy stuff, but also the mild stuff.
Now, you have to keep in mind that I was drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages, of any description. Also, I was smoking a lot of pot and dropping acid like it was candy, smoking parsley flakes soaked with PCP. I was having a high time ruining my liver as fast as I could go. Maybe there was a time when my body would tolerate caffeine and nicotine, but I can’t tell you when that was.
The other thing I’ve done is moved myself into a group home, where I get three hots and a cot on a regular basis. The staff here regulate my medication intake, and I’ve never felt healthier in my lifetime. I’m finally treating my body well, and I’m beginning to get up in years. I’ve finally gotten a healthy lifestyle, and don’t even drive a car anymore.
I leave that to someone else.
Now, I’d probably be driving, if it weren’t for that right hip of mine that I violently broke in 2010. I find that I really can’t drive with my right hip bothering me the way it does. It’s too dangerous to expect that of my body at this time in my life. Actually, it saves me a lot of money, and a lot of worries about having my own car for people to take potshots at, out in the parking lot out front.
There was a long time there, where there were other people vandalizing my car in the middle of the night, and I no longer have that problem. I don’t care whether gasoline prices have skyrocketed, or any such issue as that. I never see wild deer anymore, but there’s a down side to everything. I’m not abstinent by accident, or by demand or decree.
I’m cooperating with good medical advice.
I’m willing to give up all the things I’ve given up. I’m not fighting anything or anybody about this health situation of mine. My state of rebellion is at an all-time low. I’m perfectly contented and happy to continue behaving safely toward my own body. I’m fascinated to have learned enough about my own physiology to be able to treat my own body with a basically healthy lifestyle.
I finally got that much education.
I learned that my body cannot tolerate simple substances which are an integral part of our culture. CokaCola is out of bounds for me, and so is caffeinated coffee. My lungs can no longer stand to smoke anything, and I have a wonderful time talking to my PCP about all the things I cannot afford to put in my own body anymore.
She’s very knowledgeable about all that sort of thing.
I was so into doing all my rites of passage when I went away to university as a young man. Since then, I’ve learned a few things about my own body, what it can tolerate and what it can’t. I’ve learned that the party till you drop idea was not such a good idea in the first place. I don’t know who it was that said it first, but I had to make an end to treating myself that way.
I learned a lot of musicianship in that university, as well as taking two years of Second World War history, but I wrote my own history such that I came down to a photo finish, trying my best to do the one thing my sister could never understand about me. I was trying, all out, to destroy myself, until I was well into my thirties.
I’m not going to treat myself that way anymore.